Although it was banned in 2003, and penalties were enhanced in 2004, there has not yet been a prosecution, though the practice continues. “Female circumcision a problem in Britain,” by D’Arcy Doran for the Associated Press:
LONDON – Female genital mutilation, commonly associated with parts of Africa
and the Middle East, is becoming a growing problem in Britain despite efforts to stamp it out. London’s Metropolitan Police, Britain’s largest police force, hopes a campaign beginning on Wednesday will highlight that the practice is a crime here.
To make their point, police are offering a $40,000 reward for information leading to Britain’s first prosecution for female genital mutilation, Detective Chief Superintendent Alastair Jeffrey said.
In Britain, the problem mostly involves first-generation immigrants from Africa and the Middle East.
Police say they don’t have comprehensive statistics about the number of victims. But midwife Comfort Momoh, who specializes in treating them at London hospitals and clinics and who works with police, told the news conference she treats 400 to 500 victims every year.
Arranging or carrying out the procedure “” in Britain or abroad “” is a criminal offense punishable by up to 14 years in prison, but no one has been prosecuted since it was banned under British law in 2003, Jeffrey said. Police estimate up to 66,000 girls in Britain face the risk of genital mutilation.
“The timing of this campaign is for one good reason: so we can get in before the summer holidays, a time when young girls are taken abroad and subjected to genital
mutilation,” he told a news conference Tuesday.